Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Oh my, Tokyo is the new gastronomy capital!

The launch of Michelin Tokyo Guide 2009 (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

The launch of Michelin Tokyo Guide 2009 (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

A new Michelin Tokyo Guide will be on sale this weekend and at the launch/photocall it is revealed that Tokyo is now the new world capital of gastronomy. Oh la la. C’est catastrophe pour Paris?

According to the new guide, Tokyo now has 11 3-stars restaurants compared with 10 for Paris. Not only that, Tokyo has also garnered a whooping total of 261 stars, shared by 197 restaurants. In comparison, Paris is looking at 70 restaurants which share 106 stars between them.

This is really quite a change of gastronomic fortune for the Japanese capital. The first Michelin guide to Tokyo was published a mere two years ago, in 2007. After some controversy over the use of non-Japanese inspectors (“how can they adequately judge Japanese cuisine when they’re not Japanese?”) Michelin said that for this latest edition, only Japanese inspectors were used.

Now, before detractors of French cuisine try to score some points based on this guide, remember that Tokyo is much bigger than Paris and it also has four times more restaurants (some 160,000 in Tokyo versus about 40,000 in Paris). Furthermore, France overall still have more 3-stars restaurants than any other country, with 25 compared with Japan’s 18.

Come on Paris – let’s up our game before the next French Michelin guide in March 2010! ;)

About the Gallic origins of Paris

The modern day city of Paris is built on the Roman remains of Lutecia, for which there is ample evidence everytime one digs around the Ile de la Cité or the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève (which can’t be practical when one is trying to get new buildings built). It was also believed that when the Romans had arrived, they had settled in the chief city of the Parisii, which was called Lutetia.

But now archeologists have found new evidence in Nanterre (while digging to build a highway) that things may not have been this way: among the remains and items that were found, some hint that, at the location of modern day Nanterre, there might have been a big Gallic city, bigger then what might have been on the Ile de la Cité and around.

So now nobody can be sure of anything: were there 2 cities? Which one is the Lutetia mentioned by Cesar in his writings to the Senate? Etc. etc. There is still lots of mysteries to be solved for sure.

I wonder whether they’ll start digging like crazy around Nanterre now?

For all I know, the scientists have known these questions for a long time already, I’m only just finding out through an article in LeMonde

The full story in French here.

On a slightly related note:
Les grands monuments de Lutèce” is an exhibit at the Crypte archéologique du parvis de Notre-Dame until the 31st of January 2010 about the main Roman buildings in the city.

Faking tiltshift : Paris and Provence

In the age of digital manipulation, there are so many tools out there to play around with, that the user doesn’t need to be a pro to produce some fun and rather stunning final photos from somewhat mundane shots. One of the tools that I’ve been checking out of late is the Tilt-Shift Maker.

Tilt-Shift Maker works best with panoramic-style overall shots, transforming the location into seemingly a miniature model while enhancing the colours. Unfortunately I love taking photos in close crop most of the time, making it difficult for me to find something suitable. Nonetheless, I’ve grabbed a few shots randomly, taken in Paris and in other places within Provence in the south. I uploaded them to Tilt-Shift Maker for quick manipulations, and save them again. Have a look (click on image to enlarge it) and tell me what you think of them ;-)

The triumphal arch of Paris

The Eiffel Tower at sunset

Dining al fresco in Castellet

The port of Marseille

The waterfront of Cassis

I must admit, while it’s exciting and all to fake the tilt-shift, the end result made me a tad envious. More specifically, why do I not have the skill to produce photos that are at least as bright and beautiful as the faked versions, even if I can’t manage the tilt-shift myself (considering there are special lens required and my baby point-and-shoot can never compare).

Oh well… and I used to think the photos I took was pretty good. Putting them side by side to manipulated ones, they look dull, dull, dull. *sigh* Now you know why proper photographers get paid so much. They can produce miracles instantly that us mere mortals can somewhat reproduce via Photoshop and various other softwares.

Dining in Paris; What the heck is a Brasserie?!

When one imagines the many pleasures of spending time in Paris, one of the most often repeated is: the food. And lovelies, as a woman from the United States, I can tell you that the day I have to go back and eat in the U.S will be a sad day indeed. The variety, the quality, the attention to detail makes for a delectable city indeed. However, upon arriving in Paris, I realized one small problem; there are so many different types of food establishments in Paris that to the unseasoned traveler, it can be a maze that results in a dejected run back to McDonald’s. Brasserie, restaurant, café, bistro, bar; what do they mean? What type of food can you expect from them, what kind of service? When you walk around Paris for hours, looking at the various landmarks and sights, the last thing you want to do is try and figure out where to get a sandwich and where to sit down to a nice, three course lunch.

Have no fear, my frenchie fiends; Lelle is here!

This is a guide to the types of food establishments to be found in Paris, with a brief overview of typical fare, service type, location, and price.


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